Saturday, November 22, 2008

when chips are down

on a whim i brought you home,
laughed, devoured you and made a mess,
how silly of me
today, on impulse i retuned to find a new one,
that old bag tickled my fancy,
but clearly is empty

sitting quietly, I see you there looking good
in your eye-catching luminous wrapper,
although, desire now has left me, i realize
i was searching for the old zing, like the first time,
I’m sorry it turned out that way, don’t think bad of me,
let potato chips fall where they may

Friday, November 21, 2008

the key to bored

went to buy a keyboard, maybe,
so far so good, i had a plan,
got lost three times on the metro
right way, wrong way, back again

when i rose up from out of the dark i was lost,
no problem, stay on target, nearly there, found it
nice store, looked around, must be fifty keyboards,
priced about the same, now what?

they all function you would think,
i walked around them, until i got tired,
keyboards all look a like, i’ll think about it,
so why does my wife think shopping’s fun?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cancelleria in Roma

near the center of old Roma is the
Cancelleria, a tall three story building
owned by the Catholic Church, that
still owns much property in Roma

through most of history they
controlled most all of Rome, the large
building is ivory colored travertine
scavenged from nearby Theater of Pompey

seemingly erected recently, it is the
first building in Renaissance style,
completed three years after Columbus
sailed to the new world, 1495

my friend Cesare used to do furniture
restoration for the building, and got me
in for a peek in the basement, on one
side is a field of scattered human bones

on the far right corner is a large pond,
about modern swimming pool size, a worker
told me they are now have begun restoring
a pre-Christian church found down there

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

roma metro

like Paris morning rush
didn’t have to hold on
couldn’t move my arms
all could breathe, just not at the same time

canned fish tipped on the side,
stood well, our feet were down and touching
saw Bruce Willis wearing a baseball cap
not tall, but does a good subtle self-satisfied smirk

filing up the stairs with every step in unison
a retreating Sci Fi army,
was lost, and stayed that way
until the crowd and i popped out of the metro

Roma Comathon

twenty-five hundred years
of gladiators, spectators, venders, pilgrims, rovers, jugglers,
flounders, gypsies, immigrants, conquerors, thieves, winos,
the knowing learned, the curious, proper citizens,

the head count
parts of them are all on this bus
plus that imbecile about four rows ahead of me,
traffic jam, don’t worry

Giganticus plows through all
make a hole, I stamped my ticket,
so put the pedal down, i will hang on
can't take it? want to bail out, that's okay

streets under construction,
we detour, but we’ll get to the spot
where the driver takes his break
come hell or high water

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

new poets

i read the new poets
to see what they say
mine is like ancient
but, i wrote it today

don’t follow new patterns
don’t always use rhymes
I’ve got this thing going
of doing four lines

don’t run with a group
It’s all give and take
i patch and recoup
so give me a break

Monday, November 17, 2008

To Stand In The Way

at the grocery store one clerk and two women
stand around a cart, talking in the doorway,
either Dylan’s The Times They Are A-Changing
was not translated into Italian, or they didn’t care

“don’t stand in the doorway, don’t block up the hall” - they do,
they make a habit of it, when tired, they look for doorways.
there is a busy street, heavy traffic, buses, a church
steps in front leading to a two foot wide sidewalk, then traffic.

there, directly in front of the church,
in the center of the tiny walkway
a mature woman stops to dig, dig and dig for
something deep, deep in the bottom of her purse

if i said anything she’d be surprised she blocked the way.
so either i wait and prey in front of the house of God
that she finishes and moves on,
or i can just go to hell and wait there

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Spanish Steps Out of Time

Bob is four years older , he had a little jump in time
i bought a fourteen dollar Stella guitar
what’s left is in the trash somewhere, don’t know what kind
of guitar he had, it’s probably in a museum

i listened to classical, Bob listened to Woody Guthrie
a vacationing professor from the Oberlin Conservator of Music
gave me weekly summer voice lessons
Bob may have developed his voice cursing at winos

while i was still singing in the echo of my bathroom
bob was auditioning clubs and walking the streets of new York
my first time on TV was at six a.m., broadcast locally,
Bob’s was prime time nationally on Ed Sullivan

years later in a hot tub in Malibu, our host pointed
out the house below, closer to the ocean - Bob’s house
again later i sold one of my first paintings called Spanish Steps,
the guy said he bought it because Bob wrote a song about them

i sang one of my new songs in a club,
a guy came up and said it was very good but
leave off the long explanation that it was about the Civil War
so you win some, lose some, that’s how life goes, no regrets

now Bob and i are equally on short time,
my songs made some cents, and while i changed my socks,
Bob changed his name, made millions of dollars,
touched billions of people and changed history

i'm happy to salute him. hats off to Bob, Bob Dylan